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Wednesday, 01 December 2004

WTO transparency through parliamentary involvement

Call for enhanced WTO transparency through parliamentary involvement
The Brussels Session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO concluded with the adoption of a declaration urging "governments and parliaments to engage in a regular dialogue so that the latter can effectively exercise parliamentary oversight of the international trade negotiations and their follow-up." Welcoming the July 2004 WTO General Council decision on the Doha Work Programme, the parliamentarians from 80 countries and the EP say "this raised hopes that the impasse of the Ministerial Conference in Cancun has finally been overcome, with a consensual roadmap now in place for moving the multilateral trade negotiations forward." They also emphasise the substantial contributions that parliamentarians can make to the WTO negotiations and call upon the respective governments to include MPs in their official delegations at the Sixth WTO Conference, in Hong Kong in December 2005 - and to include in the final Ministerial declaration the following text: "Transparency of the WTO should be enhanced by associating parliaments closely with the activities of the WTO". (The full text of the declaration is available from the EP Press Service - contacts below.)